Author Topic: Bias in BJCP judging?  (Read 4298 times)

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #60 on: March 06, 2014, 11:29:17 AM »
The guidelines are not available. But... the most important thing to do is describe the beer in front of you. If you can do that and have some understanding of what the style should be, I say you'll pass with a Recognized or Certified grade. You sound like you're probably familiar with many beer styles all ready. Try to find as many examples of styles you're not familiar with and taste them while reading the guidelines.
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Offline Alewyfe

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #61 on: March 06, 2014, 12:04:50 PM »
I'm currently in a taste exam study group and this thread has morphed into one providing some very useful information. Keep it coming. That little back and forth on the proper descriptors for the grape flavor was perfect. The link to the judging guide and acetaldehyde also invaluable.
Thanks!
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #62 on: March 06, 2014, 12:45:23 PM »
As someone who is just about to enter his first competition, this discussion is providing a real good perspective.

I'd also like to note that on just about any other forum a thread like this would erupt in an all-out flame war. Instead, we get some thought-provoking discussion, and arrive at "how can we make this better for everyone?" as our conclusion. That's yet another reason why it's so great here.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #63 on: March 06, 2014, 12:46:14 PM »
As one that enters comps and looks forward to the score sheets I will tell you that in most cases the scientific jargon means nothing to me.

If you read through the style guidelines you will see that in most cases the jargon is not there either

It's not that I don't understand them all, it's just that they really don't provide help like the general descriptors do in improving my beers in an easily understandable way

just remember: KISS......it works:)
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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #64 on: March 06, 2014, 01:00:26 PM »
I'd also like to note that on just about any other forum a thread like this would erupt in an all-out flame war. Instead, we get some thought-provoking discussion, and arrive at "how can we make this better for everyone?" as our conclusion. That's yet another reason why it's so great here.

You know, I was about to snarkily suggest that the thread belonged on one of those other forums. Then it turned around.
 
duboman - I'd agree. The most important use a scoresheet could have is for the entrant to read it while drinking their beer. So the descriptors need to be clear and uncomplicated. Chemical names might not help, except for common ones (DMS, diacetyl, etc.
 
For Alewyfe and anyone else interested. These are some prep resources that have really changed how I approach writing a scoresheet.
 
http://unyha.com/index.php/competitions/bjcp-judge-training/217-bjcp-exam-resources.html
 
Especially the first two. I wish I'd read them before taking the exam. They point out common errors that have nothing to do with tasting, just the mechanics of writing a scoresheet and covering all the bases.
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Offline Alewyfe

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #65 on: March 06, 2014, 01:45:33 PM »
Great Stuff! Thanks a million Jimmy.
Diane
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Offline S. cerevisiae

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #66 on: March 06, 2014, 01:58:59 PM »
Great Stuff! Thanks a million Jimmy.

Concur!
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #67 on: March 06, 2014, 03:15:47 PM »
Read the score sheet with that beer. You will agree, with most comments. Sometimes you won't agree.
Jeff Rankert
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #68 on: March 06, 2014, 03:32:19 PM »
Read the score sheet with that beer. You will agree, with most comments. Sometimes you won't agree.

+1 to reading the score sheet while drinking the beer. The comments are much more helpful that way.
Jon H.

Offline johnf

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #69 on: March 06, 2014, 05:02:38 PM »
Are style guides available during the tasting exam?   My recall is still fairly good, but it isn't what it used to be when I was younger.  My concerns lie in the areas of acceptable carbonation levels and mouthfeel.   It never really dawned me until I reviewed the style guide as a whole that the subcategories are ordered by body, from lightest to heaviest.

For information you plan to memorize by rote, I highly recommend preparing flashcards and memorizing them in at most the last three weeks prior to the exam (I believe rote memorization work farther out than that is a poor use of time) using the Leitner system: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leitner_system

I think for the tasting exam you are looking at 95% understanding vs 5% memorization. For the essay exam it might be more like 80/20 (some people might put more focus on memorization, but I believe they are unlikely to do very well).

Offline braufessor

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #70 on: March 06, 2014, 05:54:23 PM »
Read the score sheet with that beer. You will agree, with most comments. Sometimes you won't agree.

+1 to reading the score sheet while drinking the beer. The comments are much more helpful that way.

Generally, I try to bottle 4 bottles of each beer when I send to competitions.  I send 2 in.  I drink one and take some mental notes, or even try to record some thoughts on paper on the weekend of the competition - that way I am tasting the same beer, filled the same way, at the same time it is being judged.  I save the 4th for when I get my score sheets and I can taste it again and refer back to the sheets.  This is particularly good if the comp. is efficiently run and you are getting your sheets back within a week or two of the comps.  Seems that more and more, competitions are turning this information around very quickly, which is great.

Offline YooperBrew

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #71 on: March 06, 2014, 06:09:31 PM »
A well-trained judge can tell the difference between apple-like ester and acetaldehyde.  But only a minority know the former as ethyl hexanoate, and even fewer will refer to it as such.

I think that a good judge provides useful feedback.  It's true that a flavor might be ethyl hexanoate, and not acetaldehyde, and we know the difference- but it's not at all helpful to not tell someone that, unless you also tell them what THAT means, and how to fix the beer that is flawed.  Big words do not a great judge make.

One thing that I"ve discovered over the years is that I don't really like wheats, sours, or Belgians all that much.  But I am a great judge of the styles I don't love.  Part of that is simply because it's easier to deconstruct a beer that I don't love- does that make me biased?  No, I don't think bias comes into it.  Bias would be if I know my best friend brewed a certain beer, and I chose to pick that one over another beer that is better or equally good. 


Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #72 on: March 06, 2014, 07:59:16 PM »
More threads like this and I might just go for BJCP status.  I think my palte is not up to speed, but I am getting better.  I really have trouble with not wanting to make a mistake and not detecting the proper causes to an effect, but it sounds like you don't have to have a remedy, just because the beer has a detectable flaw? 
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #73 on: March 07, 2014, 01:09:21 AM »
In my opinion, the value of a good judge sheet is feedback from an outsider who knows at least a little bit about beer. I don't think teaching how to brew is necessary. Especially with the volume of great info available. For example, it should be a given how to avoid oxidation... so, "faint cardboard flavor, slight oxidation" is good enough. I can figure out where it's coming from.

Offline darwin18

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #74 on: March 07, 2014, 05:55:13 AM »
In my opinion, the value of a good judge sheet is feedback from an outsider who knows at least a little bit about beer. I don't think teaching how to brew is necessary. Especially with the volume of great info available. For example, it should be a given how to avoid oxidation... so, "faint cardboard flavor, slight oxidation" is good enough. I can figure out where it's coming from.

Not all homebrewers are so educated on off-flavors and how to avoid/mitigate them.  Your example of oxidization is a great one.  Some homebrewers may not realize that this is even an off-flavor.  There is a whole lot of ugly baby syndrome out there when it comes to homebrewers.  Some homebrewers may not realize that could be the result of their process - such as not carefully bottling from the keg because they're not detecting it in what they're drinking at home (This happened to me once).  Oxidation in varying degrees of severity is probably the most common off-flavor in entries to competitions. 
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